WHEN “SCHOLARS” TURN STRAYERS By Sanni Kay. Yusuf
WHEN “SCHOLARS” TURN STRAYERS
SANNI KAY. YUSUF
Clad radiantly in various colourful attires, in our intimidating troops, and in a fleet of cars, the long-awaited nikaah was graced by family and friends. We were well, warmly welcomed into the women’s space of the newly-built ultra modern mosque by the “scholars” saddled with the officiating of the solemnization.
The exercise kicked off after Dhuhr when chairs had been entirely filled up by attendees from the two families. Those who had nothing to sit on unavoidably took to their feet – an indication that the occasion had a teeming audience in attendance.
The compeer in no time handed the mic to one vocal, comic alfa from whose tongue most of the lined up activities were actuated. Truth be told, the gathering was thrilled by his fantastic, all-encompassing admonition. The would-be couple as well as parents and well-wishers were offered beneficial advice, even though it wasn’t without the usual monetary exploitations where men and women journeyed back and forth amid free-mixing.
Winding down the programme when Asr was just a few minutes to tick, the chief imam of the community was handed the mic for a closing prayer. “What about ‘aqd (solemnization)?” some brothers whispered to me. The groom gave me a worrying look. I could perfectly read his troubled mind: “The right thing hasn’t been done, apparently!” He was worried and his countenance changed. I could not but signal to him not to make an unpleasant scene out of the lamentable lacuna. I knew what he could do – he could cantankerously capsize the ship piloting the programme.
As spiritual leader to the groom, and having been recognized as such by the compeer, it was suggested by brothers that the observation be raised by me. “Of course, we shouldn’t leave here without the right thing done – the lofty essence of the gathering,” I assured them. “How best do I correct this unfortunate omen?” I soliloquised. I couldn’t go confrontational so as to have the desired goal accomplished. The correction method shouldn’t be one that would render the “scholars” unprofessional in public, thereby compounding the issue.
As I was nursing this confusion in my mind, I heard my name mentioned by the compeer. I was asked to give a short prayer as done the chief imam. I was happy. I thought it was prayer answered, but it turned out to be problem ignited. I stepped forward. But before having a grab of the mic, I whispered to the compeer: “The bride’s father hasn’t made any pronouncement of his daughter’s hand being given out in marriage. That means the nikaah hasn’t been solemnized,” I complained. “That doesn’t mean anything. I can confirm to you that the father is pleased with all that we have done here so far,” he replied. “No! You and I know that the pronouncement is key, without which the essence of today is largely defeated, and any attempt by the brother and the sister to glow in bed like a couple is tantamount to fornication,” I insisted.
The scholars as well as the audience got pissed off by our silent conversation. So we were both shouted down, as they could only see our lips move up and down, but could hear no sound from our mouths. The compeer therefore, let the cat out of the bag by revealing my observation to all. Some drama ensued and the chief imam had this to say: “I wasn’t invited here for an ‘aqd. I only got an invite for an introduction!” What a sorry statement from a supposed heir of the prophet.
At that point, I begged to have the mic to educate everyone, including the supposed scholars. I summarily explained the concept of “Shuruutu-n-nikaah” which have all been fulfilled except the bride’s father’s consent – the most fundamental of all.
That resulted in some pandemonium and the programme was suspended for solah.
Some of the alfas on the platform including the bride’s father approached me and clarifications were made. The man said if he had not consented to the marriage, why would he have granted the date? So I told him that the granted consent must be pronounced by him.
After solah, the imam and his disciples had a short meeting where they gave to the observation, and on return to the hall, the bride’s father enthusiastically did as fundamentally required by the Sharee’ah.
Hmm! Isn’t disturbing that the affairs of the muslims is entrusted in the hands of quacks who know very little or even nothing about Islam? What business have alfas with introduction – without nikaah? Introduction – isn’t that alien to Islam. And can’t it be done without the alfas? Why would alfas turn out en mass for just an introduction, and about two hours squandered exploiting the audience? Innaa liLlaahi wa innaa ileihi raaji’uun!
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